The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has announced further COVID-19 relief by extending time periods to file patent and trademark related documents and providing waivers for the payment of certain fees. The USPTO has twice previously provided extensions of deadlines and fee waivers, as outlined here, here and here. Recognizing the continued hardships on businesses and inventors caused by the pandemic, the USPTO indicated on May 27 that it would again extend certain deadlines and fee waivers for both patents and trademarks.
For small and micro entities, filings that would have been deemed timely filed by June 1, 2020 pursuant to the CARES Act Notice dated April 28, 2020, can now be extended to July 1.
For large entities, the availability of relief after May 31 will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Requests for relief under this provision should be submitted through a petition for an extension of time or a petition to revive, along with any required fee.
For all entities, the USPTO will also extend its waiver of the fees for filing a petition for the revival of applications that were abandoned on or before June 30, 2020, when accompanied by a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Trademark Applicants that were unable to submit a timely response or fee in response to an Office communication are directed to file a petition to revive the application, as provided in 37 CFR §§ 2.6(a)(15), 2.66.
For trademark applications that have been abandoned due to missing the 36-month statutory deadline for filing a Statement of Use, Applicants can use the TEAS “Petition to the Director” form as provided in 37 CFR § 2.146 to revive the application.
Similarly, trademark registrants who have missed other statutory deadlines, which result in the cancellation or expiration of a registration, or registrants who were unable to submit a timely response or fee in response to an Office communication regarding a registration, can also use the TEAS “Petition to the Director” form to revive the registration.
Furthermore, until June 30, the USPTO plans to continue to waive fees for petitions to revive trademark applications or reinstate trademark registrations that were abandoned or expired as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Requests for such fee waivers should be filed with a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The USPTO continues to monitor the situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and its effects on businesses and inventors. Therefore, it is possible that the Office will extend additional relief through the summer months.